Mar 5, 2011

In Which We Go to Jail

The Story of My Life
Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Roxanna stands on the doorstep holding Baby Gray while I drag Sam, literally kicking and screaming, to the car.  She's probably thinking I've snapped and that Security Forces is the safest place for all of us.

Max is already in the car. Evidently he figures Sammy is making enough noise for the both of them so he's barely even protested.  Yes, I'm taking Max too.  He may not make as much noise, but he's usually the instigator of their fights.  And like my Mama always used to say, "It takes two to fight."

I stick Sam in the car, close the door, and start walking around to get in.

He opens the door, and sprints, screaming for help, to Roxanna--managing to get his arms around her legs before I get to him.

I detach him, drag him back to the car, and manhandle him in.

This time I flip down the child lock before closing the van door.  Then rush to the other side to do the same thing before Sammy can make his way past the car seat.

We drive the short distance to Security Forces which is just across the street from the base Burger King.  Max is sitting with his arms folded tightly across his chest glaring at me.  Sam is screaming; "PLEASE! NO MOMMY!  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!  I'M SORRY!!!!!!!!" over and over again.

I talk calmly about anger and choices and how I decided not to make the choice to spank them and am choosing to do this instead.

We arrive and I have to drag Sam inside.  All of the sudden, instead of trying to get away from me, he's clinging to me with all his might.  I look through a glass partition and speak to the first person I see.
"Hi...I'm the one who called......"
(You know, the crazy lady with the out of control kids...?!)

"Yep, come on back Ma'am."

"Ma'am, may I just see your I.D.?"


"Uh oh...I forgot it.  Sorry..."

(No biggie.  Please say 'No biggie...!!!')

"Okay Ma'am!  I'm just going to need you to get that!  Don't worry, I'll keep these two here with me!"
(Me:  Stunned silence.  No choice.  Must get I.D.!  AHHHH!!!)

"Okay.  I'll be right back."

I am now officially leaving my kids--with cops--at the police station.  If this whole experience wasn't traumatizing enough, now I'm made it 100 times worse.  I run to my car and speed back home.
Pull in, leap out, run inside, grab wallet, back in the car, speed back.
I feel like bursting into tears, but I'm too wound up.  Instead I just keep thinking how I am clearly the WORST.

I go back into the station, back behind the glass partition with the officers and boys are waiting for me and Sam immediately runs to my side and starts to whimper again.

The officer says, "HEY!  What did I tell you!?  No crying!  Come back here. Stand up straight and look at me!!

He then proceeds to lecture both boys in a very stern voice, pausing occasionally to question them on their actions and motives.  He tells them that when grown-ups fight, they get to come here!
Does it look fun to come here?  No it is NOT fun!
They need to respect their mother.
They need to respect each other.
They need to make better choices.
They need to apologize.

"And now I'm going to have Officer Jones* show you the cell!"
He picks up a large key.  The BIGGEST brass key I've ever seen.  It's bigger than my whole hand.  He gives it to Officer Jones who says "Follow me!"

We walk down the hall, through a door and stop in front of one of the cells.
"This is where we put the bad people!"
(Opens cell.)
"Go inside there Sam!"
(Puts Sam inside cell and LOCKS HIM IN.  Speaks through the wire grate window:)
"Do you like it in their Sam?  No?  Then don't make me put you back in here!"
He unlocks the door and lets Sammy out.  

We are all free to go.  I thank the officers and we leave.  Right outside the door, I squat down and give both boys a hug.  Sammy starts crying again and says "Sorry Mommy!"

And we go.

Like I said:

*I have no idea what his name and/or rank/title actually is.  Don't remember.


Becky said...

Is it bad that I think it is so funny? I think you are the best mom ever, not the other way around. My boys have been fighting a bit more, and it is hard to know that magic thing that will make them stop. I hope it works for you and that your house is peaceful for a long time!

Mrs. B. Roth said...

This is so awesome. THEN WHAT HAPPENS?!

MandiScandal said...

"WORST.MOM.EVER"?!?!?!?!?! HOW ABOUT FUNNIEST.STORY.EVER!!!!!!. So freaking wonderful. Thank you for breaking it up into three parts. it made it even better! but I think its great that the security force people were able to put it into perspective that its not ok to fight, and i love that you took them there instead of spanking them. how ingenious! i actually think this makes you a pretty good mom.

Kristen said...

Now THAT is a consequence they will never forget!! It's awesome. Now of course I am curious to know if it has wrought great changes around your house??? Have they been behaving since then?

Linz said...

Best story ever. ANd you are certainly NOT the worst mom ever!!

joannae said...

AWESOME! Em, you are my hero. I hope I will remember this idea if our baby fights with his hypothetical future sibling(s) when he's older. Maybe our military police will be as cool as yours. And maybe I will be as cool as you, someday. ;-)

Kayli said...

I have to say the same thing as everyone else. AWESOME. So so sooooooo awesome. I just read the whole thing to my husband. We laughed and laughed. Good times.

Natalie said...

It IS awesome, but I get why your heart broke when he apologized again - mine gave a little twinge and i didn't even have to see his sad little face. You may have just saved yourself a lot of heartache and trouble, though - teaching your children to solve problems with words and kindness rather than force and brutality will be a life-long invaluable lesson for them.

Bartimaeus said...

If only they'd learn.
Good job sweetheart.

Unknown said...

This is Roxanna, Janelle's mom. Can I just say that Emily is one of the bravest, most compassionate, loving mothers and friends I know!!! I love living just a few doors down on the circle (of trust). Although I'm not happy that one day we'll part ways, I am comforted that I can still laugh with her thanks to her diligent and witty blogging skills. As Sammy's second mother (he spends A LOT of time here), even I was stunned at his escalating was BAD. But I too was impressed by Em's smooth, unemotional, cat like reactions to it all. Em you are at the top of my hero list! Even if you do try to offend me on your blog :P

No Buckaroos said...

I think you deserve a medal! I think that's a very clever idea - such a great story for a children's book!

marissa said...

Wow!!! Amazing story! I hope he is an angel from now on for you. He better be. Where are you guys going to move to? We miss you in the old U-S-of-A!

Emily said...

i've always loved you. always admired you. always thought God knew you were a saint to bless you with four boys. for me. now. after reading this. you have achieved ultimate rock star status and I bow down to your awesomeness!

FOX said...

For the first time ever... I am speechless with you Emmie!!! You crack me up!

Can we all copy this or is it only a "cops on a military base thing".

We will definitely need an update on if this worked in the long run... oh and what Doug thought of all of this...

I don't think you are the worst Mom ever, I have showed Rainy Juevy... but forgetting your license... that was pretty bad! LOL!

PS you have Jake and Caleb really laughing and they want me to do it to Rainy! Poor Rainy! You write a funny story and now everyone wants to gang up on her! :)

Anonymous said...

I have such respect for you... it is hard to follow through on threats. I use to tell my kids that if they ever got arrested and needed to go to Juvenile Hall I would leave them over night. Then one time when my kids were all raised I had to tour our JH for a Advisory Board I was on and I was so depressed after and so grateful my children never put me to the test and I never had to consider leaving them there. It takes a lot to do what you did!!


AnnaYoung said...

While I could see humor in it, I find it difficult to treat animal tantrums lightly when you've have a long week and your husband's been gone (for I don' care how long, it doesn't matter, he's gone). We had one today in our house. When kids push you to the brink it takes immense strength to not beat them. And since we were always taught as kids to 'go find a police officer if you're in trouble or need help" I think it was a great idea and I'm glad you had Roxanna to back you up : )

PS. SO HARD to keep those doors closed when someone's trying to open it!

Unknown said...

EMmy...I love you! there need to be more moms out there like YOU - no idle threats...cause when your boys look back and can say 'lesson learned' they'll remember you are/were the best mom ever!

Unknown said...

Not worst mom ever...Best Mom Ever! Take it from me, a teacher at a disciplinary alternative school, misbehaving kids (especially ones that hit) need to visit (VISIT) jail once in a while. That little talk with the MAN can really be useful.

I hope that it works for your boys. If you get a chance, read The Explosive Child...I can't remember the author. It gives some great strategies for dealing with that type of explosive behavior.

Pish Posh, @imakeagoodhat said...

You are an amazing mother! I really hope this drove the point home and things are going more smoothly.